A Soil Pilgrimage
I have just returned from a soil pilgrimage undertaken to celebrate the International Year of Soil and renew our commitment to a non-violent relationship with the earth, the soil and our society. On October 2, we started the pilgrimage from Bapu Kutir at Sevagram Ashram, Maharashtra. My fellow pilgrims were those who have contributed over half-a-century of their lives to build the organic movement — Andre Leu, president of International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements (IFOAM), Ronnie Cummins, director of the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) of the United States, and Will Allen, a professor and long-time organic farmer.
At Mahatma Gandhi’s hut, we took a pledge to stop the violence to the soil through chemical fertilisers and poisons and promote organic farming as ahimsa kheti. We dedicated ourselves to a transition from a violent, chemical, industrial agriculture that is destroying soil fertility and trapping farmers in debt through high-cost seeds and chemicals.